One of the first things David T. Hines bought when he got $4 million in COVID-19 relief loans from the feds for his supposedly ailing South Florida moving business was a super-luxury Lamborghini Huracan Evo, authorities say.
Needless to say, the Italian-made sports car — purchased by Hines in May for $318,497 — was not on the list of permissible expenses under a Small Business Administration loan program meant to protect employees and cover other legitimate costs like rent during the coronavirus pandemic.
Hines, who was arrested Friday, also spent thousands of dollars on dating websites, jewelry and clothes, along with stays at high-end hotels such as the Fontainebleau and Setai on Miami Beach.
The SBA’s Payroll Protection Program totaling nearly $650 billion was approved by Congress as part of the CARES Act after the coronavirus struck the nation in March, but Hines’ and other similar fraud cases are starting to pop up in South Florida and other parts of the country. The PPP loans are forgiven by the government if they are properly used by businesses. Congress is considering another major SBA loan infusion as the raging pandemic continues to hurt the U.S. economy.
Every year, about 2.3 million American renter households receive eviction papers at some point. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we might see that many evictions in one month.
Global advisory firm Stout, with input from the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel (NCCRC), used census survey results and income data to develop a new eviction estimation tool that estimates how many households could be at risk of eviction as moratoriums end, courts reopen, and rent relief efforts fall short. More than 16 million renter households are at risk of eviction, according to the tool, and more than 11 million households could be served with eviction papers over the next four months.
Since April, weekly census surveys have been asking Americans if they paid their last month’s rent on time and how confident they are that they’ll be able to pay next month, along with questions meant to assess employment status, food security, and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Stout eviction estimation tool combines that with data about how rent-burdened Americans are by income level.
MIAMI – City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez held a news conference Tuesday morning outside City Hall, at which he announced that the city is considering taking legal action against the county for withholding coronavirus relief funds that he says were meant for Miami residents.
Suarez said the county participated in “bad faith negotiations” and ultimately took away $81 million in CARES Act funding that was meant for city residents based on population.